Best Antique Store

Prairie Peddler Antiques

Alton has long been a magnet for area antique seekers, and Prairie Peddler owners Fred Dirk and Greg Levy have been drawing customers to their store for 30 years now. Last flood they finally had enough of inundation, so they moved to higher ground a few blocks away. Grain elevators no longer block out the sun; the new location is full of light. This makes the high quality of the merchandise much easier to see. The spacious rooms are arranged like sets, to best showcase the clean-lined eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American antiques the partners favor. Collectors of mid-century Modern shouldn't shop here: Anything savoring of the (early) twentieth century is relegated to the more folksy upstairs rooms. The Prairie Peddler really is an antique store. It's a good place to buy something truly nice for a fancy great aunt: There are plenty of small pieces such as tea dishes, barley-twist candlesticks and mourning samplers to accent the settees and Sheraton-style side tables. And if you're not in the market for spinets or salt-glazed crockery, that portrait of the gentleman with mutton-chop side-whiskers might just add some ancestral panache to your home.

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